Big Chicken Heading to East Texas

April 2, 2024

Hey, Tyler, Texas! You’re next in line for your very own, official, real-deal Big Chicken restaurant from our man Shaq! Let the chicken celebration begin…

Actually, it’s not just one, either. The restaurant company founded by O’Neal and partners has announced its latest franchise deal with regional restaurant operators Jason Ratlif and Phillip May for as many as SIX shiny new Big Chicken outlets in an area extending from Tyler – about 100 miles east of Dallas, all the way through East Texas and over to Monroe, Louisiana. 

Company boss Ratlif says he first sampled the offerings of Big Chicken on a Carnival Cruise. Big Chicken pretty much got its start as part of the food offerings on the cruise line, even before it started building regular brick-and-mortar storefronts around the country.

The BIG Podcast with SHAQ

New episodes every Thursday on YouTube at THE BIG PODCAST WITH SHAQ. This is a Playmaker & Big Podcast Network Exclusive.

Ratlif: “Beyond the backing by Shaquille O’Neal, Big Chicken brings big flavors that are truly unique. After encountering Big Chicken on a Carnival Cruise, I knew that I needed to bring the brand to my community. My partners and I are thrilled to be a part of the brand’s expansion, especially given that we have strong ties in the area.”

In fact, Shaq and company have been very creative about where they locate some of their restaurants. Along with the cruise ships, there are Big Chicken shops in places like major-league sports arenas like New York’s UBS Arena, The Comcast Center in Philadelphia, and the Footprint Center in Phoenix, home to the Suns.

In addition, there are Big Chicken stores in venues like the Moody Center in Austin, Texas – home of Austin City Limits, the Kansas City International Airport, and St. Louis’s Busch Stadium. Who knows where the Chicken will pop up next? 

This new deal will bring the total number of existing and planned Big Chickens to about 350 locations around the country (and on board the ships, too). Big Chicken currently has traditional locations open in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee and Washington.

Shaq’s main business partner is ABG – Authentic Brands Group. A marketing and entertainment company, ABG owns a portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands including Sports Illustrated, Elvis Presley and Reebok.

Here at the offices of ShaqFu Radio, we’re still very much looking forward to our first taste of Big Chicken food. The menu fuses O’Neal’s home-cooked childhood favorites with today’s trending flavors; crispy chicken sandwiches and tenders to Cheez-It-crusted mac n’ cheese and hand-crafted ice cream shakes.

On land, the first Big Chicken was in Las Vegas. Since that eatery opened, the company has been signing up franchise partners around the country. Like we said, you never know when and where the next one will be announced. We’re just hoping for one close enough for a “Big” road trip visit! 

Follow us

© 2024 Shaq Fu Radio